U.S. Spacesuit Knowledge Capture – Documenting the Anatomy of a Spacesuit
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After more than 45 years since the United States last landed humans on the Moon, Space Policy Directive-1 now directs NASA to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, followed by missions to Mars and beyond. To assist in the success of these future missions, the U.S. Spacesuit Knowledge Capture (SKC) Program can contribute legacy knowledge to scientists, engineers, and technicians. The SKC Program has an archived collection of spacesuit knowledge that represents over 5 decades of spacesuit legacy from the Apollo era to the pursuit of Mars, and beyond. This legacy knowledge consists of lessons and events on spacesuits and ancillary material, which contain technical knowledge and experiential learning in a manner that encourages the audience to retain and use this information. Some of this knowledge is essential to successful spaceflight missions. For more than a decade, the SKC Program has captured this valuable knowledge through sponsoring and recording over 110 events. The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) and the Extravehicular Activity Office have sustained and supported the SKC Program. The NESC Academy continues to maintain the SKC Program’s electronic library, which is accessible to viewers. Sharing these lessons and events gives NASA, space partners, academia, and others an opportunity to expand their knowledge. This paper demonstrates the value in sharing past spacesuit knowledge and the SKC Program’s significance. It provides information about the SKC Program’s NASA- and public-accessible recorded events, and includes links that lead the reader to the program’s collection of archived knowledge. As the program continues to evolve, so do its future plans, which are also disclosed.